By Dr Geoffrey Speldewinde
It gives me great pleasure to acknowledge the honour of becoming President of your Pain Society. I am humbled to step into the shoes of those before me and I can only hope to emulate the perspicacity, diligence and foresight of Malcolm Hogg.
Whilst I have been on the board representing this provincial city of Canberra for nigh on 15 years and seen many issues come and go, it now falls to me to direct them! My own perspective arises from operating a private almost solo-doctor multidisciplinary practice from a rehabilitation medicine perspective, extensively utilising evidence-guided interventional procedures.
I am hopeful that during my time as President your Board can advance many things including:
- steering a path to a greater realistic awareness of and integration with the vast array of medical procedures,
- further tentative steps in engaging more effectively in indigenous and culturally diverse groups,
- harnessing the potential of Painaustralia for which we are a, if not the, major stakeholder,
- growing the research base of pain practice in Australia with not only our PhD scholars but looking at setting up a Postdoctoral Fellowship,
- watching and participating in the development of electronic data bases and assessment protocols, electronic Persistent Pain Outcomes Collaboration (ePPOC), and
- continuing to alter the language of pain and community understanding of pain.
We are participating in an expanding curriculum of pain education and will continue to work promulgating a greater inclusion of pain and its management within the educational arms of all of your professional bodies from which you each arise, coming together as we do in this unique multidisciplinary forum.
Malcolm Hogg stepped in to the role of Painaustralia (PA) director, representing the APS, and attended the PA Annual General Meeting where Dr Graeme Killer, recently retired head of medical services for DVA, was the keynote speaker.
There is increasing activity in the diverse field of pain management in this country and internationally. One of my goals is to try and involve you the members, seeking input for responses to any of the “larger” issues that arise and for which we may have time to generate responses. This may entail a mass email seeking ideas/expressions of interest in being involved in that “need” along with a rapid response time i.e. if you have something then contribute quickly. Your Board has always endeavoured to involve members and this may be one way of making it more obvious!
Please take some time to acquaint yourself with your new Board as they work to represent you and the Society as a whole.